SME’s key to achieving Vision 2030

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IMG 2592 680x380 1

Itai Ndongwe

Small to Medium Enterprises {SME’s} have a potential to grow the country’s economy and help the country achieve the upper middle class economy by 2030.

This was said by the Director of the International SME’s Expo Director, Delight Makotose at the launch of the theme for this year’s International SME’s Expo scheduled for November 17-19 in Harare.

The Expo, which is an annual event, could not be held last year because of the national lockdown restrictions.

However, Makotose expressed confidence that this year’s Expo would be a success, with over 150 exhibitors having already confirmed their participation.

The expo will be held both virtually and physically, with the organisers expecting a full house, which includes international exhibitors.

Makotose said despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the sector was set to benefit from strategic interventions that came with the hosting of the expo, which will provide a platform for strategic interventions for sustainable growth.

He said the theme of the Expo resonated with the anatomy of the sector in terms of getting the best out of the country’s economic engine room.

“The theme also highlights that SMEs development has the potential for wide-reaching impacts on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 1 that is to (end poverty), SDG2 that is zero hunger, SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 5(gender equality), SDG 8 (promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work), SDG 9 (improve sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation),” he said

The director of the SMEs International Expo applauded government for providing a cushion to some SME’s affected by the lockdown although not all were able to access the support.

Limited access to the finance is a challenge to MSMEs hence the lack of liquidity could leave enterprises unable to pay workers and suppliers or cover overheads and forward plan and achieve scale in the medium to long run.

In line with the SDGs, The Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank is also advocating for gender equality and their mission is, “To Empower All Women economically and socially.”

Through Vision 2030, the new dispensation has diversified the economy to involve women in critical sectors and high decision making process.

Dr Mandas Marikanda, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank said the financial institution was mandated to provide access to affordable and innovative women-centered financial products and services. Where women could be assisted in their individual capacity, in groups or clubs or cooperatives or as micro, small and medium enterprises.

She said the bank offered solutions to SME’s across all sectors such as mining, farming, manufacturing, trade and tourism.

“Our Micro Lease Asset Finance allows SME’s to purchase assets such as machinery, farming implements, equipment for mining and any other asset according to the client’s needs,” she said, adding that the client’s asset formed part of the collateral security.

Marikanda said SME’s could also access working capital requirements and order financing among other facilities.

The bank has also partnered with players in the insurance industry to finance low cost micro insurance services.

 

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